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topping out at the gap?
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v66701


Jun 5, 2008, 2:50 PM
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topping out at the gap?  (North_America: United_States: Pennsylvania: Northeastern_Region: Delaware_Water_Gap__Mt__Minsi_)
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I am going to climb at the gap for the first time. Can someone give me an idea of what the finishes are iike to some of the multipitch routes < 5.7? I only have one 60m rope so rapping down 3 pitches might be a problem, are there routes that are walk offs? Do I need to climb with my pack or will I be able to get back to the bottom? thanks!


mheyman


Jun 6, 2008, 6:24 AM
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Re: [v66701] topping out at the gap? [In reply to]
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I know of no walk offs.

There are some newer stations. I have heard of at least one station on the PA side where at least 2 60s are needed - Hell and High Water I think.

Seems I always got down on 2 50s somehow before that station.

Use two ropes. It will be much easier.


adatesman


Jun 6, 2008, 7:51 AM
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I don't know about the NJ side, but both the Falcon NJ guide and the Steele guide say that there's an overcliff trail on the PA side. I've never bother looking though, since it would be quite the walk off (all the way down the the Point of Gap parking lot and then the slog back up to the cliff). Rapping is a much better option, especially if you can get your hands on a second rope.

From what little scampering around the top I've done it should be fairly easy to get to a route that's possible to rap with one rope. Problem is, of course, finding that route without already knowing where it is. Over in the Wine Couloir area, Surprise (5.4) has an intermediate rap station, so rapping that is possible with a single rope. Watch out though... The Surprise rap station isn't obvious from above and there's another rap station nearby that leads to a full 60m two rope free hanging rappel down the Land of Giants overhang (I think we had maybe a foot or two of rope left) and into a field of poison ivy. Probably best to climb Surprise to see where it all is before trying to find it blindly from above.

I've never seen anyone climb with their pack at DWG, probably because everyone raps.

On a side note, a new rap station on Hell and High Water was bolted last year, and it was a bit of a stretch for the ropes the bolting party used (I happened to be there when they came down). One of the people had to downclimb 10' or so, one had a short drop and the last actually touched down and was subjected to all manner of weight-related heckling.

Long story short, find someone to borrow a second rope from or get a 60m piece of cord to use as a pull line (and learn how to safely rig it before going out there). You'll be much happier that way.

-a.


(This post was edited by adatesman on Jun 6, 2008, 7:53 AM)


adatesman


Jun 13, 2008, 5:31 PM
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Re: [v66701] topping out at the gap? [In reply to]
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You've probably already gone at this point, but just in case I thought I'd post this anyway. Seems that whule the overcliff trail may have existed at one point, it doesn't exist anymore. We were up at DWG today and poked around the top of Surprise (since its the easiest single rope rappel and centrally located) and there's no sign of a trail whatsoever, even upslope a couple hundred feet.

And to be honest, even if there were a trail I wouldn't suggest using it.... everything is fairly steeply inclined with a deep layer of leaves and loose rock and is nowhere near safe to be hiking on. We actually roped up for the hike back down because of all the sliding around and there were bowling ball sized blocks coming down after us for a good ten minutes after we got back to the upper rap station on Surprise (side note, had it not been a weekday with only us on the cliff, we wouldn't have gone looking for fear of nailing someone). Oh, and the rap station for Surprise is totally unmarked and had we not just come up from it minutes prior we wouldn't have found it (and we climb there fairly often).

So long story short, there's no walk offs at DWG and attempting to do one will most likely rain down large rocks onto unsuspecting people below. Don't try it. Find a second rope or limit yourself to routes with rap stations half a rope length up.

-aric.


mheyman


Jun 14, 2008, 10:12 AM
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Re: [adatesman] topping out at the gap? [In reply to]
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I'm only mentioning this because you noted the overcliff trail on the PA side.

There are trails on top (not at the top) of both sides of the Gap. They just aren't climbers trails, and they aren't close enough to the cliffs to be useful to climbers.


(This post was edited by mheyman on Jun 14, 2008, 10:15 AM)


adatesman


Jun 14, 2008, 1:16 PM
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Re: [mheyman] topping out at the gap? [In reply to]
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Both guidebooks make mention of an overcliff trail and hint at using it to get to the rap at Surprise (2 raps, single rope), so either we didn't go up far enough to find the one on the PA side you're talking about or the trail the guidebooks talk about is long since gone. In either case, I an't say I'd be all that in favor of putting one in, as its very loose up there and too few people would use it to keep it clear and safe.

Anyway, hopefully the OP found a second rope as DWG is a rather nice place to climb (if you don't mind the lack of crowds and relative looseness...).

-a.


(This post was edited by adatesman on Jun 14, 2008, 1:17 PM)


TradEddie


Jun 16, 2008, 5:49 AM
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Re: [adatesman] topping out at the gap? [In reply to]
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There was a faint trail close to the top of the cliff, (in some places, way too close to the top of the cliff) that leads down to the first parking lot. Maybe since those fatal accidents a few years ago, less people have been climbing there. It used to be very obvious between Osprey and Surprise at least.

Several years ago, because it was getting dark, and we hadn't seen the intermediate rap station on Surprise on the way up, we decided to follow the trail, to be safe. Even with a headlamp, we almost walked off the top twice... So, where in heck is that intermediate rap?

TE


adatesman


Jun 16, 2008, 7:25 AM
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TradEddie wrote:
It used to be very obvious between Osprey and Surprise at least.

Well, at least from the Surprise side of things it isn't anymore. Part of the problem is the forest is very open up there, so with all the leaf litter there's not really any way to tell where it was. Our plan was actually to check it out from the top of Osprey, but we bailed after the first pitch (mental block... last time I climbed it I shattered my ankle) and headed over to Surprise. We'll probably go up by way of Heroine Hypnosis next time and see what's up there.

TradEddie wrote:
So, where in heck is that intermediate rap?

How to explain.... Height-wise its maybe about a third of a rope length up and its the first large tree you encounter and has several slings around it with a pair of rap rings. 15 feet below and a bit to the right is the dihedral that seems to be the usual way up, but if you step left from the dihedral and around the corner onto the face you'll get onto a big, comfy ledge right below the rap station with fairly easy face moves up to the rap station. Not much gear on the ledge, except for a nice horizontal right at the move up to the rap station that's perfect for that boat anchor #6 tricam that no one but me will admit to carrying. Wink

Anyway, the best pic of it is probably in the Falcon NJ guidebook on page 82 where they have a pic of Chieftain. Surprise is route #40 on the left and the guy in the pic (who blends in with the rock rather well) looks to be at the rap tree.

-aric.


TradEddie


Jun 16, 2008, 7:44 AM
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I enjoyed the view from that ledge so much that I never looked left I guess. I probably belayed from the spot marked on Chieftain. Oh I miss those days, working 20 mins away, rush off after work to get a few pitches in.

TE


mojomonkey


Jun 16, 2008, 8:55 AM
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Re: [adatesman] topping out at the gap? [In reply to]
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I was on top of Heroine Hypnosis and Osprey a few times last year and didn't see anything that stood out as a trail. We actually looked specifically on Osprey the first time since the book mentioned it.


adatesman


Jun 16, 2008, 9:30 AM
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Re: [TradEddie] topping out at the gap? [In reply to]
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So true, Eddie... The view is magnificent. My favorite part is watching all the raptors soaring on the air currents below. They often get close enough to see individual feathers...

On a side note, its fairly easy to string it all into a single pitch, which would make it easy to miss seeing the intermediate rap station since its off to the left a bit.

Anyway....

-a.


joeforte


Jun 16, 2008, 10:27 AM
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The intermediate rap on suprise is scary. From what I remember, I always saw some slings around that little tree halfway up.

I always climb with 2 ropes at the gap. The rap off the top of Voyage of the Damned is the one I always use, with 2 60's, just barely touching down. There is always loose rock to deal with, which is why I've been debating installing some fixed rap stations below the choss up top.

I'm thinking somewhere between the topout of suprise and Voyage, and a Mid-station halfway down for single rope partys.

I've also considered placing two rap stations on/near Osprey and heroine hypnosis.

Any input/suggestions? If the community is cool with this, I'll be using Fixe Stainless ring anchors. I'd love to make that place safer, and avoid all loose rock on top.


adatesman


Jun 17, 2008, 12:11 PM
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Re: [joeforte] topping out at the gap? [In reply to]
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Meh, not too scary in the grand scheme of things... The tree's not so little (6" diameter or so) and pretty darned solid. But I also always have 2 ropes there, so rarely use it.

As for the rest, I saw your post in the other thread first and replied there. Short version is I have no real opinion about a new one by Surprise since there's shortcomings with both of the existing ones near there and am 100% behind doing it near Osprey.

-aric.


toeknee


Aug 9, 2008, 6:51 PM
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Re: [adatesman] topping out at the gap? [In reply to]
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adatesman wrote:
On a side note, a new rap station on Hell and High Water was bolted last year, and it was a bit of a stretch for the ropes the bolting party used (I happened to be there when they came down). One of the people had to downclimb 10' or so, one had a short drop and the last actually touched down and was subjected to all manner of weight-related heckling.

I use two ropes from the [update] tree rap station.

[update] The bolted station at the top of the sport climbs didn't originally have chains, so I put some on.

The person who installed the rap bolts told me that the person who bolted the sport routes had intended the routes to go to the traditional H&HW rap station (a tree), but he didn't bolt the finish since it was easy climbing. Essentially the route bolter left the route unfinished in the opinion of some.

So someone else put in the rap bolts where the route bolter stopped bolting in the interest of safety. Then I put the chains on.

[updated 8/10/08 to clarify a number of confusing points.]


(This post was edited by toeknee on Aug 10, 2008, 2:48 PM)


joeforte


Aug 10, 2008, 1:37 PM
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Re: [toeknee] topping out at the gap? [In reply to]
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Hey Tony, how have you been? Where is this proposed rap station location? I've climbed both bolted lines, but only to the first set of chains. I've never climbed H&H, because I was told the top is still very unstable.

Where is the rap station you added chains to?

Where is the location of your proposed rap station?

Like I said, I've only gone 1 pitch up this section of the cliff, to the first set of chains.


toeknee


Aug 10, 2008, 2:41 PM
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Re: [joeforte] topping out at the gap? [In reply to]
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Hi Joe - what's new? Long time.

A couple of years ago I added the chains to the "first set of chains" on those two sport lines. that is, the two unevenly placed bolts. When Rob placed the bolts he didn't put on chains.

I think my post was confusing. Two ropes from the tree, one rope from the bolts.

We should climb sometime.

I would have sworn on a set of cams that I never climbed H&HW either, until my buddy pulled out his climbing journal, apparently I led it in 2001 or so.

Does completely forgetting allow you to re-on-site a climb? :-)

I actually was going to climb H&HW once until I read the Sloane guidebook entry about the 3rd pitch. Has anyone confirmed the R/X 3rd pitch to you?

Let me know about a cleanup or anchor or trail day. I got bolts and poision ivy killer I can donate.... I got a nice drill and have been using it for aid leading in caves....

Tony.


joeforte


Aug 11, 2008, 4:54 AM
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Re: [toeknee] topping out at the gap? [In reply to]
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Hey Tony, I didn't know you were into caving. Pretty cool. Aid leading? Can't you just lead the thing on RP's in soft wet limestone? J/K Yeah I'll keep in touch about climbing up at the gap sometime. I'm personally waiting for the chiggers to die down a little!


toeknee


Aug 11, 2008, 2:20 PM
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Joe - I hear you. I got a B-A-D case of chiggers on Drifting Arrow about 5 years ago. T.


v66701


Aug 24, 2008, 2:52 PM
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I am definitely glad I found another rope, thanks for the advice!
Maria


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